Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party has called upon the government to embark on civic education ahead of the 2021 elections.
In a press statement, the party spokesperson Michael Osinde said the current civic and voter education is fragmented, uncoordinated and done in piece meal interventions.
“The curriculum and contents are not agreed upon. Some civic and voter education are biased promoting one school of thought against others or leaving out others. What they teach in Kyankwanzi is not the same as what an NGO teaches and it’s not the same as what local government teaches,” he said.
He further noted that civic and voter education comes late, close to voting time, when some voters have already made up their minds.
Osinde pointed out that lack of civic education has led to massive voter bribery, high rate of invalid ballots, apathy, low voter turnout, political intolerance, political radicalism, neglect of public service and mistrust between the leaders and electorate, among others.
“In the end, we end up with the national parliament and districts full of incompetent leaders because the criteria voters used for elections was not based on an informed choice but `who bought for me waragi yesterday`,” he said.
He continued that much as the government last month launched the National Initiative for Civic Education in Uganda (NICE-UG), a lot needs to be done to achieve its purpose.
“UPC calls upon government to provide an inclusive platform for collaboration, coordination, and synergy, harmonization of interest and mandates of relevant actors. So that the citizens capture the four elements of civic education. That is, they are not only knowledgeable about civic and voter education as a whole culture that lasts for a lifetime,” he says.
In March this year, President Yoweri Museveni launched the National Initiative for Civic Education in Uganda (NICE-UG).
The launch, which took place during the ‘Africa Now’ Conference at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort was the first structured collaboration between the government, United Nations and non-government actors to promote efficient and effective delivery of national civic education to a rapidly expanding and predominantly youthful population of Uganda.